The 39-year-old captain announced in February that his 20th Major League Baseball season with New York would be his last. The five-time World Series champion holds franchise records in hits, games played, stolen bases, at-bats and singles.
“Everyone has feelings, especially when you’ve played in so many big games, so many special games throughout the course of my career,” Jeter told reporters this morning. “I’ll have butterflies before this game starts.”
Jeter was joined by former teammates Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera on the field at Yankee Stadium before the game against the Baltimore Orioles. Known as the “Core Four,” Rivera, Pettitte, Posada and Jeter each made his Yankees debut in 1995 and saw the franchise through five World Series titles, most recently in 2009.
“Those guys are like brothers to me,” said Jeter, who is batting second today.
Jeter received the loudest cheer during pre-game introductions, after which Pettitte threw a ceremonial first pitch to Posada and Rivera tossed another to Jeter.
Tickets for today’s game were listed for an average of $108.67 on the secondary market, with the cheapest listed for $8, according to ticket aggregator TiqIQ.com. Those are the lowest prices the company has seen for an opener at Yankee Stadium since it started keeping track in 2009.
The Yankees (3-3) started the season on the road at the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays. Jeter is 4-for-16 so far and yesterday recorded his 3,320th career hit, eighth-most in baseball history. He struck out in his first at-bat today.
Hiroki Kuroda started today for New York against Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter held the same position with the Yankees when Jeter made his MLB debut on March 29, 1995, in Seattle.
“A lot of people get caught up in the disease of ’Me,’” Showalter, 57, said. “Derek never fell in that.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, a former teammate of Jeter’s, said the shortstop’s record-setting career will be celebrated throughout the season at Yankee Stadium.
“It will be a love-fest, an appreciation-fest,” he said. “Kind of like they did with Mo and Jorge. These guys have meant a ton to this organization.”
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